He Got Game
|He Got Game|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Spike Lee|
|Produced by||Jon Kilik
|Written by||Spike Lee|
|Cinematography||Malik Hassan Sayeed|
|Editing by||Barry Alexander Brown|
|Studio||40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks|
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures|
|Running time||136 minutes|
He Got Game is a 1998 American sports-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate convicted for killing his wife. The father of the top-ranked basketball prospect in the country, Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by NBA star Ray Allen), Jake is released on parole for a week by the state's governor in order to persuade his son to play for the governor's alma mater in exchange for a heavily-reduced prison sentence. Filming took place between July and September 1997, and locations such as Coney Island, Brooklyn, Cabrini–Green housing projects in Chicago, Illinois, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California.
Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen), a student at Lincoln High School from Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, is being pursued by the top college programs in the nation. His father, Jake (Denzel Washington), is a convicted felon serving time at Attica Correctional Facility for accidentally killing his wife (Jesus' mother) by pushing her while arguing with Jesus at the age of 12. The father is temporarily released by the governor, an influential alum of "Big State," one of the colleges Jesus is considering, so that he might direct his son to sign with the governor's college in return for an early release.
- Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth
- Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth
- Milla Jovovich as Dakota Barns
- John Turturro as Coach Billy Sunday
- Rosario Dawson as Lala Bonilla
- Jim Brown as Spivey
- Hill Harper as Coleman "Booger" Sykes
- Zelda Harris as Mary Shuttlesworth
- Ned Beatty as Warden Wyatt
- Bill Nunn as Uncle Bubba
- Thomas Jefferson Byrd as Sweetness
- Roger Guenveur Smith as Big Time Willie
- Lonette McKee as Martha Shuttlesworth
- Travis Best as Sip
- Walter McCarty as Mance
- Kim Director as Lynn
- John Wallace as Lonnie
- Rick Fox as Chick Deagan
- Leonard Roberts as D'Andre Mackey
- Jennifer Esposito as Ms. Janus
For the role of Jesus, Lee had drawn up a list of every NBA player who could pass for a high school senior. Kobe Bryant had off-season commitments. Lee found Tracy McGrady too reserved and was not impressed by Allen Iverson's performance. Management for Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury wanted a guarantee that one or the other would be offered the part. Travis Best, Walter McCarty, and Rick Fox also auditioned and Lee cast them in supporting roles. Allen became involved when Lee approached Allen during halftime of a Bucks-Knicks game, ultimately offering him the role of Jesus. Allen had never acted before, and so he trained with an acting coach for eight weeks prior to filming.
NBA players Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Bill Walton, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, and Charles Barkley, NBA coaches Rick Pitino and George Karl and broadcaster Dick Vitale made cameo appearances at one point early in the film.
Box office 
He Got Game was produced on an estimated $25 million budget. In the opening weekend of its release, it was shown on 1,319 screens, and took in $7,610,663 at the U.S. box offices debuting at #1. It eventually grossed a total of $21,554,585.00
Critical response 
Response to the film was largely favorable, with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes showing it receiving 80% favorable reviews, praising Lee's artfulness, commentary, and honest connection to human characters. Negative reviews focused their criticism on the film's length and Lee's overindulgence, with Time Out London writing, "Most scenes play too long, with a surplus of ideas, textures, tones and characters, and after 134 minutes it's clear Lee's problem with closure hasn't gone away." Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half-stars, and called it Lee's best film since Malcolm X. He was particularly encouraged by Lee's determination not to adhere to typical conventions.
Both Ray Allen and Washington "(Charles Young,Charles Young) drew praise for their performances, with Roger Ebert writing that Allen "is that rarity, an athlete who can act," and Slate magazine writing that Washington's performance was "gorgeously underplayed".
Awards and nominations 
- Best Actor — Denzel Washington (nominated)
- Best Director — Spike Lee (nominated)
- Best Screenplay — Spike Lee (nominated)
- Best Film (nominated)
- Best Soundtrack (nominated)
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture — Denzel Washington (nominated)
- Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress — Zelda Harris (nominated)
- Outstanding Motion Picture (nominated)
- MTV Movie Award Best Breakthrough Male Performance — Ray Allen (nominated)
- "He Got Game (1998)". Thisdistractedglobe.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- “”. "Jesus Shuttlesworth". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- Weekend Box Office Results for May 1-3, 1998 - Box Office Mojo
- "He Got Game Review. Movie Reviews - Film - Time Out London". Timeout.com. 2005-04-06. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- "He Got Game Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- "He Got Game :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- By (1998-04-27). "He Got Game Review - Read Variety's Analysis Of The Movie He Got Game". Variety.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- Edelstein, David (1998-05-03). "He Got Balls - By David Edelstein - Slate Magazine". Slate.msn.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: He Got Game|
- He Got Game at the Internet Movie Database
- He Got Game at AllRovi
- He Got Game at Box Office Mojo
- He Got Game at Rotten Tomatoes